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As a central knowledge portal to the retirement and related industries, EBnet publishes a range of daily articles submitted by a range of industry organisations, experts and contributors. Readers can also comment on and contribute to articles.


Sanlam announces new leadership in its most key positions

Sanlam today announced that the Sanlam Board has approved new appointments in three of its most senior positions in the diversified financial services group. The Sanlam Board has approved that: Mr Elias Masilela be appointed as independent non-executive Chair of the Sanlam Board with effect from 10 June 2020; Mr Paul Hanratty be appointed as Group CEO from 01 July 2020; and Ms Abigail Mukhuba be appointed as Group Financial Director from 01 October 2020. Each of the appointments was made following rigorous and thorough Board processes with internal and external candidates for each of the three key positions as well as the requisite approvals from the Prudential Authority. Sanlam views leader

Mapping out your road to retirement

Retirement planning is a bit like searching for directions on Google – you need to know where you want to go first. Why retirement solutions can't be one-size-fits-all If you’re a baby boomer, chances are your parents worked for the same company their entire lives, and your father serviced his own car and kept a roadmap in the cubbyhole. Living to 95 would have been exceptional. If you’re a millennial, the US Bureau of Labor says you’ll average 15 to 20 different jobs in your working life, you won't ever look under the bonnet of your car yourself (although Google could probably tell you how to rebuild your engine) and the only thing in your cubbyhole will be a USB charger for your smartpho

Saving for retirement in a volatile investment environment

Whether it is your first day of employment or the last month of your working career, deciding on the best investment options for your retirement savings can be a daunting task, even for financially astute investors. The recent volatility of financial markets brought on by the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), oil price wars, trade wars, Eskom debt crunch and looming South African credit downgrade is leaving many members grappling for answers when it comes to securing returns on their long-term savings. The most important lesson for members is not to panic, but rather to start planning for retirement as soon as possible, remembering to take into account that markets will always encounter

Policy Interventions Required to support SA Companies in bridging the COVID-19 Crisis

News of Edcon's cash crisis and inability to pay suppliers is a clear warning of the serious economic damage the COVID-19 crisis is causing. Edcon has said it will work on a reopening strategy, but may fail to find a viable route without Government and other support. Edcon's current position is not unique and will likely be experienced by many other companies within the economy. As an industry that manages R175-billion of investments in private companies, mostly small- and medium-sized businesses, on behalf of pension funds and other investors, the private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) industry is at the front line in working with companies to confront the challenges presented by the

Video Chat Apps Rise to Prominence Amid Pandemic

As a significant part of the world population is currently on lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic, people are turning to technology to work, communicate and stay in touch with their loved ones. Unsurprisingly, workplace communication tools such as Slack and Teams have seen a jump in usage as working from home has become the new norm in recent weeks. People are also making use of similar tools in their personal lives, however, leading to a spike in downloads of video chat apps. According to Priori Data, global downloads of Skype, Houseparty and Zoom each surged by more than 100 percent in March, with the latter proving particularly popular among people meeting up virtua

FSCA issues guidance note to retirement funds industry to respond to COVID-19 risk

As part of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) efforts to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on financial customers, regulated entities and the South African economy, we have released communication to industry to provide guidance for distressed employers and funds. This note addresses how COVID-19 may impact employers’ and employees’ ability to comply with the full, partial or even any payment of contributions in terms of section 13A of the Pension Funds Act (PFA). Most funds have existing relevant rules for distressed employers and members and we encourage them to apply these rules to alleviate the financial difficulties they may be facing. Some of the rules include: A p

Motsepe Family And Associated Companies Pledge R1 Billion For Dealing With Coronavirus Pandemic And

The Motsepe Family in partnership with companies and organisations that they are associated with, have pledged R1 billion to assist with the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its related challenges that are confronting South Africa and the African Continent. These companies and organisations are: Motsepe Foundation Sanlam African Rainbow Capital (ARC) African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and others The Founder and Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation, Dr Patrice Motsepe said: “Several hundred million rands will immediately be made available with the primary objective of saving lives and slowing and restraining the spread of the Coronavirus. We are purchasing sanitisers, disinfectants, Pers

MOODY’s Downgrade Comment

Moody’s announced that they are cutting South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to Ba1 From Baa3. The outlook remains negative. This means that the country now has a sub-investment grade rating. All three major rating agencies now have South Africa rated as sub-investment grade, meaning that we as a country will fall out of the FTSE World Government Bond index. Fitch and S&P, the two other key global rating agencies both downgraded South Africa to “junk” status during 2017. The word “junk” status refers to countries whose debt is rated below that of investment grade – it is sometimes referred to as “high yield.” Factors that affect a countries Sovereign Credit Rating Rating agencies do not pe

Preparing for the upcoming Flu Season in the time of COVID-19

While we remain focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its serious global and local impact, we should not forget to take measures to ensure our wellbeing during the upcoming winter season. Here are simple things we can do to prepare: 1. Basic hygiene and social distancing Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is caused by the influenza virus. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the coronavirus (specifically ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’). Although the virus that causes COVID-19 is uniquely different to the virus that causes the flu, some of the basic measures to avoid the spread of the virus help in both cases (since they are both viruses). Adopting these basic

A history of market recoveries after significant crashes. A reminder.

Investing can send investors on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The bottom line is that markets go through cycles – sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down and, on occasion, their fluctuations can be drastic. It is during these drastic bouts of market volatility that even the most experienced investors can become anxious. Investors have recently been hit with another drastic bout of market volatility. Investment performance has fallen to levels last experienced several years ago and there seems to be no recovery in sight. So, it would seem like the perfect time to adjust or cash out your investments, right? The chart shows the history of the South African stock market, represented by

What Share of the World Population Is Already on COVID-19 Lockdown?

A report by The Guardian shows that 20 percent of the world population is currently on some form of a coronavirus lockdown, meaning their movement is being actively restricted and controlled by their respective governments. According to an analysis by Statista, that number is already closer to 25 percent. While there are all sorts of different lockdowns currently in place, Statista counted those in which governments ordered their citizens to stay at home and only take a minimum of necessary trips outside, while announcing police enforcements and/or fines for people failing to meet the requirements. The biggest lockdown is currently being enforced in India, where 1.3 billion people have been

The IRFA Statement on COVID-19

Since December last year most of us looked at the Chinese government as it was managing the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan in Hubei Province and the country as a whole. Whilst no new cases have been reported in China as of the 20th of March 2020, the rest of the world seems to be experiencing the full impact of the pandemic. With many countries in full lockdown, we as South Africa have been assured by our Cabinet that the Department of Health is doing all to curb the spread of the virus. The Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA) is working closely with other institutions and members in our sector to ensure that we are responding effectively to the Covid-19 outbreak as guided by our g

The Economic Impacts and Prospects of COVID-19

With South Africa headed into a 21-day lockdown this week, combatting the threat of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has been made a key national priority. Never before in our democracy have we seen a national lockdown taking place, but the gravity of the current situation absolutely demands it. This is according to Marius Oosthuizen, a professional futurist who recently presented a thought-provoking webinar to over 80 investors and business leaders across the country. Hosted by the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), the interactive webinar explored the current developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, unpacking the economic, social and political impacts that it

Tips for investors to weather heightened volatility in the market

Investors are facing tough times during the COVID-19 pandemic witnessing the daily negative impact on their accumulated wealth. However, Alexander Forbes Investments reminds investors that they have weathered periods of market volatility before. “We encourage investors to focus on performance over the long term,” says Gyongyi King, Chief Investment Officer at Alexander Forbes Investments. The investment house reminds clients of the importance of a risk-led approach during times of heightened volatility. It is hard to come out unscathed when there is a severe shock across virtually all financial markets but spreading risk effectively can help limit the extent of losses during these times. Div

SA Private Equity continues to outperform listed market

In a time of uncertainty and low economic growth, the latest RisCura-SAVCA South African Private Equity Performance Report reveals that the country’s private equity industry again outperformed listed equity over the short- and medium-term, as of September 2019. The 2019 third quarter report , which tracks a representative basket of private equity funds in South Africa, shows outperformance across all three listed benchmarks over the three-year and five-year periods. Over the 10-year period, private equity underperformed across all three listed benchmarks. The direct alpha earned by private equity relative to the ALSI TRI, FINDI TRI and the SWIX TRI is 2.9%, 4.0% and 5.4%, respectively, over

The FSCA update to customers on industry measures taken during COVID-19 crisis.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is working closely with the sector to ensure that markets continue to work well, and there are minimal disruptions to customers during the Covid-19 disaster period. We expect all financial services entities to be looking at their business contingency plans during this time and assist customers in accessing their financial products and services. The FSCA is engaging with the entities it regulates, in order to understand the likely impact of Covid-19 on customers. It is our primary focus to ensure that financial institutions treat their customers fairly and minimise any adverse customer outcomes during this difficult and uncertain period. We urge a

FSCA takes precautionary measures to limit spread of COVID-19

As we monitor developments relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) will be taking precautionary measures in the interest of containing the pandemic, to protect our staff, the sector and to support Government efforts. The FSCA will enable remote working and use technology to facilitate all meetings but will suspend all face-to-face engagements with external stakeholders, including walk-in clients at its Pretoria offices, until further notice. We’ve also taken the following measures to further mitigate risks associated with Covid-19: All planned FSCA events and initiatives such as roadshows, workshops and seminars are postponed. All enquiries relating t

FSCA statement on possible naked short selling

Given the current period of extreme market volatility and high trading volumes, settlement failure risk is increased significantly. The FSCA has been advised that there may have been a number of instances of possible naked short sales of late. The FSCA views this conduct in a very serious light. Market participants are reminded that naked short sales pose significant risk to the market as they could likely cause rolling of settlement and failed trades, thus undermining confidence in the South African markets. This will impact on the efficiency of the markets and the Financial Markets Act requirement to maintain a stable financial environment. The FSCA warns that any person who continues to e

FSCA issues public warning against VIP Chairo Crypto

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to act with caution when dealing with VIP Chairo Crypto (VIP Chairo). The FSCA suspects VIP Chairo of conducting unauthorised financial services business and breaching various financial sector laws, including falsely operating as bank. The FSCA received information that VIP Chairo runs a suspected scam on WhatsApp, accepting deposits in the form of Bitcoin from members of the public offering. VIP Chairo then offers these investors a return of 30% in one month. The FSCA confirms that VIP Chairo is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act), to render financial advisory and inte

Second close of Black Business Growth Fund II at R710m

Investing in local mid-sized companies proves attractive for SA pension funds JOHANNESBURG: 24 March 2020 – In spite of these difficult times 27four announced the second close of the 27four Black Business Growth Fund II (27four BBGF II) with total capital of R710 million. The second close includes commitments from Consolidated Retirement fund for Local Government, and Rand Water Provident Fund, as well as further unlock of capital from the Jobs Fund. It has never been more important to invest in the local economy, and we are seeing excellent opportunities to back mid-sized South African companies for long term success. The fundraising was launched in mid-2019 and has found good traction with




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